“You can be anything you want”: An exploration of children’s perceptions of gender-typed occupations using a story-completion method.
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Occupational segregation recognises that some occupations have a higher percentage of men, whilst others have a higher percentage of women. This has important implications for childhood development, as it reinforces traditional stereotypes and encourages societal expectations of boys and girls, and thereby can compromise an individual’s careers progress. The aim of the current study was to qualitatively explore children’s perceptions of gender-typed occupations. In doing so, a story-completion task was given to children between the ages of 9-10, and a thematic analysis of the completed stories resulted in two core themes: Influential Roles, an Motivating Factors. These findings highlighted that in contrast to popular belief, primary school aged children do not always make choices within occupational opportunities they perceive to be consistent with gender. Directions for future research are also discussed.
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